The Ultimate Junkie
By Roy Tang (firstname.lastname@example.org / roytang.cjb.net)
Final Fantasy VIII is a copyright of Squaresoft, Inc. Standard disclaimers apply. Spoilers? Not really...
I'm almost there.
I must've been walking for a day and a half now. A day and a half through snow-filled forests and mountains, barely eating. I haven't slept since that ship dropped me off on this island. I'm tired and exhausted. But I need to get there. I have to.
The others--they don't understand. None of them understand. They tried to stop me, to hold me back. You don't need it, they said. How could they know? They know what it's like. The feeling of strength, the feeling of power, the rush of adrenaline that I get. I need that rush. I want it.
There it is! I'm finally here, after all that walking. The dome-like structure stands out among the surrounding snow, like an out-of-place metal igloo. My goal is here, I'm mere steps away. I quicken my pace.
In front of the dome, three figures stand. Barely four feet tall, they are obviously not human. Yellow-skinned humanoids, Shumi. These three are the ones I seek. They're the only ones now between my goal and me. As I approach, they glance at me before once again assuming their ready stances. They know what they guard is valuable.
I bring out my purse, hoping I have enough money. It's the last of my cash, the last of my supplies. It's not even my money, I had to swipe it from Rinoa. It's not like she needs it, her dad's well off anyway. What I need is more important.
The Shumi nod at me, and I toss the purse at them. They look over the purse, then turn to look to each other. What? Not enough? No, please. I need to have it. Come on...I'll pay you back the rest later, I tell them.
They shake their heads. Sorry. Sorry? Sorry won't do. I need to have that power, that rush. My own supply ran out days ago. I need a fix, and I need it bad. They shake their heads once more, and ask me to leave. But I can't leave. I need that rush.
Before I know it, the gunblade is in my hand. The Shumi, they're sturdy people, and some are known to be fierce warriors. But they haven't faced the battles I've faced. And of course they weren't expecting it.
The first guard explodes into white blood before the other two can react. They draw their weapons, I stare them down. They know they're going to die. Fools. They should've just given me what I wanted. One of them charges, the other runs for the nearby dome entrance, hoping to sound an alarm. The second one dies quickly, the gunblade going through his throat. Before his body even falls to the ground, a low ringing sound begins to echo around the structure. The other guard was quicker than I thought. As I turned, he was already on top of me, blade ready.
Not that he would have gotten me. Not in a hundred years. He barely has time to shout a death cry.
The guards are down. The alarm is sounding. But it doesn't matter. My goal is here, mere steps away. It'll take them several minutes to get up here, and by then it'll be mine.
I walk to the bright patch of snow the Shumi were guarding and lean down, looking for that sensitive spot. There! There it is! Finally! It's been so long.
Sweating slightly, I close my eyes and focus on the goal. I can feel it there. That power. That rush. I reach out with my mind, and take it for myself.
Yes! An incredible rush comes over me, too much for me to handle. I fall over from the shock. I can feel it come over me, overwhelming me with unbelievable force. It fills my body and soul, flowing through my veins, invigorating every cell of my body. God, yes! This is what I live for, this power, this overwhelming power.
The rush passes, all too quickly. More, I need more. As I reach down to draw more of that power, the gate of the dome opens, and five Shumi warriors come out, determined looks on their faces. I smile and reach out my hand to them.
Their eyes widen in fear as they realize what is about to happen. But it's too late. I feel the power flow through me again. Outwards this time, another incredible rush, though not as good as the first one. I feel the energy course through my veins, flowing out my outstretched arm.
The Shumi don't have time to think. They move to scatter, but they are slow, too slow. Before they can take a single step, a scintillating white light, with the faintest hint of green appears around them, surrounding them, bathing them in a pure white glow that makes the surrounding snow look like an oil slick. Their faces recoil in fear, and the white glow seems to pulse for an infinite time, before finally exploding into a thousand brilliant shards of pearl and emerald. The glow settles, and there is nothing left. Not even a trace.
Now free of distractions, I reach down and continue to extract more of that power. That sweet, flowing power. I look around, seeing the carnage I had caused, and I realize that they were all right after all.
My name is Squall Leonhart.
And I am an Ultima junkie.
Author's rants: "What? Squall would never do anything like that! That's totally OOC!" Maybe, maybe not, I don't know. What I do know is that obsession and addiction can bring out the worst in the best of us. And the worst about Squall is that he would willfully place the lives of millions in danger to get what he wants. I'm glad I have no such additions. Well, maybe to videogames, maybe. Not that I'd kill anyone over a videogame, of course. This one was a quickie, done in no more than thirty minutes, twenty even. I just thought about it while watching someone play FF8. He kept going back to that draw point every so often I said "It's like you're addicted to it." Totally spur-of-the-moment.
Oh yeah, I was just watching THE WEAKEST LINK (yeah all caps), so here's a little something extra:
Nida: "Quistis, why Zell?"
Quistis: (shakes head) "I'm ashamed to say I was his teacher. He flubbed so many easy questions. Like the one about Hyne..."
Nida: "What about you, you've been to FH, haven't you?"
Nida: "How come you didn't know the name of the mayor there?"
Quistis: "Well, that's...not exactly Garden curriculum..."
Nida: "Rinoa, why Zell?"
Rinoa: "Well, he seems to take so long to answer, and he got a lot of wrong answers, so..." (shrugs)
Nida: "You have a boyfriend, don't you?"
Rinoa: (embarased) "Yes."
Nida: "Don't you go out on dates?"
Rinoa: "We do..."
Nida: "Then how come you don't know the meaning of 'foot the bill'? Doesn't he pay for your meals?"
Squall: (puts his palm to his forehead)
Rinoa: (embarassed) "He doesn't earn much, so we always go Dutch."
Nida: "How cheap!"
Nida: (turns to Zell) "Zell, according to our statistics you are not the weakest link. However, with four votes, you are THE WEAKEST LINK. Goodbye."